Title: The Geek Girl’s Guide to Cheerleading
Author: Charity Tahmaseb and Darcy Vance
ISBN: 9781416978343
Pages: 324 pages
Publisher/Date: Simon Pulse, c2009.

“That’s it,” Moni whispered at my side. “We’re going to do it.”
“Do what?” I whispered back.
“Try out for cheerleading.”
“What!” I said, forgetting for a moment how good the acoustics in the Little Theater could be.
“Miss Reynolds?” said Mr. Wilker. “Something you’d like to share with the rest of us?”
I shook my head, but on the inside I was thinking of all sorts of things I’d like to share with Moni, the main one being, Was she out of her freaking mind? (16)

Bethany Reynolds is a junior geek at her Minnesota high school, and she kind of likes the fact that she is invisble to just about everyone except the rest of the geeks. Her best friend “Moni” has other plans though, especially after all their geek guy friends start oggoling over the cheerleaders. Based solely on their school spirit (Moni can’t do the splits), both are somehow recruited to the varsity cheer team. But the rest of the popular cheerleaders on the team are not happy about their new teamates outcast status. Even worse, some of the geeks are not happy about their friends new found popularity, and don’t know how to handle the suddenly shorter skirts. When Bethany receives attention from the hotest guy every girl dreams of dating, things turn really ugly.

A collegue of mine was absolutely raving about this book by a team of debut novelists, so I had to pick it up and read it. Myself being somewhat of a nerd/geek (depending on who you ask), I was able to relate very well to Bethany, who for Independent Reading class “brought in a new novel at least twice a week” (55), is self concious about the short skirt of the cheerleading uniform (4 fingers below the butt), and takes her cheering seriously to the point of researching the unfamiliar teams and sports. She gains the admiration and support of the freshmen wrestling team, since she and Moni are the only ones who come to cheer on their team. I was a little distressed by some of the actions of her classmates, including underaged drinking (both unbeknowst and known to the parents) and sexual activity, but this is high school and it would be less realistic if that was excluded. For a teen novel, there were suprisingly but refreshlingly few swear words (at least, from what I remember), which I — as a non-swearer — appreciate. Maybe it’s me, but I saw through the bet immediately, but am satisfied with the way things turned out. If there ever was a sequel, I would be curious to see how Moni’s relationship turns out, as that one seemed more questionable than Bethany’s. Bethany maintains her individuality and uniqueness throughout the book, yet still seems to triumph by the end and successfully navigates her way through the ongoing dillemas. It’s a fast read that I would recommend for the beach, although I stayed up way too late polishing it off last night before bed. Teens will sympathize with Bethany’s life, and many events will resonate with teenage girls.

Maybe there’s a reason I relate with this book the most. According to the What Kind of Geek Are You test offered through the book’s website, I am Bethany.

Your result for The What Kind of Geek Are You Test…

You are: BETHANY, a WORD NERD

You know the difference between a period, a comma, a colon and a semi-colon. You are on a first name basis with all of the characters in Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter and probably the Twilight books too. No one doubts your supremacy in English class, but your ability to diagram relationships or punctuate a social life can be … well, meh. Get your nose out of those books occasionally. Real life can have happy endings too.

See the other results here.

Take The What Kind of Geek Are You Test at HelloQuizzy

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